Oh man. My heart is so sad this evening and I can't nail a thought down concretely enough to decide how I feel about all this.
Boy's new teacher caught me after school today to let me know how well he's doing. She said some genuinely lovely things which made me so proud and happy and then, just as I couldn't puff my chest out any further, she said something that made me stop.
'Oh, everyone warned me about X and Boy, told me that they were the 'rough' boys in my new class...'
Now. Correct me if I'm wrong but
A) he's 4
B) he's a boy
C) he can be hands-on and tactile, but is not mean or aggressive
D) it may well be human nature to form opinions about young children, but it's unprofessional and downright wrong to project those opinions onto a new member of staff
I have done what I always do in this kind of situation. Naturally, I failed to respond in any way when it actually happened then (so far) have spent 4+ hours angsting about it. I have text the squad to gather wisdom and advice I know I can trust. I have drunk a glass of wine and googled 'homeschooling your summer born boy with violent tendencies...' And I've cried.
The thing is, it sounded to me like members of staff have made a judgement about my small boy. And being labelled 'rough' doesn't exactly scream 'loveable', does it?
To add to my heartache, this revelation comes in the same week when Boy sobbed into the bathroom mirror 'they call me silly, Mama, everyone calls me silly'. I'm assuming (hoping!) that he was referring to other children and not staff?! Ha!
I have the terribly English disease of wanting, needing, people to like me. In my 33 years I have wasted countless hours of my time and energy trying to achieve it, even when my heart was screaming at me 'but you don't even LIKE them, why do you CARE?'
In life, we all come across people who don't like us FOR NO GOOD REASON and that's ok. It took me years to stumble upon this theory and even though I know it to be the truth, I struggle. I struggle with it when the person in question doesn't like ME. It never occurred to me the heartache I would go through when the person didn't like my BOY, my first born who has my heart!! That's my issue though, and I mustn't spiral into an emotional breakdown!
Now obviously, I don't want my child sitting on peoples' heads and poking them with sticks but since I don't believe he does that on a day-to-day basis, I'm going to focus on the parts I can help with at home. I'm going to focus all my attention on his self-worth and strength of character.
I don't want my sweet boy to spend fruitless hours trying to get people to change their minds like I did and I don't want my boy hurt/upset/confused over their decision. I want him to be confident and happy and so strong in his own identity that these types of angst don't even cross his mind, he merely accepts their (unfounded, ridiculous!) dislike of him and skips gaily on, with his crew, never to look back.
I guess I just never expected to be dealing with this at 4.5 years old. I thought I'd got more time before friendship dramas and thoughtless, throwaway comments.
Isn't that the mantra of motherhood, though? Oh shit, I thought I had more time.